Well, hello again!
It’s so nice to see you here! I’ve been away working extra long hours to help my clients get their homes ready for holiday entertaining. I’m happy to report that all of our goals and deadlines were met in time for some serious Thanksgiving feasts. My one worry was that when I returned to blogging that all of my readers had given up on me. (New Year’s Resolution #1: Find better work/rest life balance.)
What have you been up to lately? Did you eat your fill of turkey and dressing? Did you get to enjoy some time off to relax? Are you ready for the calendar to roll over into December? December! Can you believe it has crept up this fast this year?!
Speaking of calendars, I thought I’d share sources for something to help us ease into the next big holiday. In my travels through the internet and stores at this time of year I see all kinds of holiday decor. (More eye candy coming on Wednesday!) Several of my friends have asked me to watch for these items, so I’m guessing some of you might be looking for them, too.
I’ve gathered a list of sources for Advent calendars. I grew up with these in Europe and they seem to be more popular every year over here. I have found both the candy ones and the ones you can fill yourselves, in case your kids don’t need more excitement through extra sugar.
I’ve also tried to find them in a variety of price ranges so we can all stay within our budgets. All of the images above and below are linked directly to their retailers to make
shopping for them grabbing them before they disappear easier. You can just click on the pictures!
Candy-filled Advent Calendars
In my experience, all holiday planning goes more smoothly if you have a mouthful of chocolate. Exhibit A: Santa’s waistline. It seems to me that the only dilemma with candy-filled Advent calendars is making sure the candy tastes good. Here’s what I found:
I found these chocolate-filled Advent calendars on Amazon. I’d never noticed any Trader Joe’s products on Amazon before, but maybe I just haven’t been looking since I live near two store locations.
I’ve had other chocolate products from Trader Joe’s before, so I can safely guess that this chocolate will taste good. These calendars are moving fast on Amazon, so if you want one before they run out of stock, I’d grab it now.
Moonstruck Chocolate Co.
The Advent calendar I showed at the top of this post seems more for adults, especially with it’s gourmet price tag. While I’m not familiar with this chocolate company, this calendar is certainly filled with some mouth watering treats. Take a look:
Mmmmm. Chooooocooooolaaaaaate…. What? Sorry!
I was rather surprised at some of the places I didn’t find candy-filled Advent calendars. Really, Williams Sonoma and Godiva? This product seems to fit your brands so perfectly.
Not only is this chocolate really good, it’s vegetarian, kosher and is guaranteed fair trade. You can eat this chocolate in the name of making the planet a better place to live.
I haven’t seen this calendar in my store yet, but I’m going to look for it. Maybe they have already been bought out…yikes!
Fill-them-yourself Advent Calendars
I kind like the concept of these types of Advent calendars because they are open to more creative gift ideas. A cool eraser, a new matchbox car, a pretty hair clip…lots of potential for easy, affordable solutions. Plus, you only have to buy the calendar once and you can re-use it for years. Here’s what I found:
New this year from the people who got you hooked on lingonberries, this very affordable ($10!) Advent calendar was flying off the shelves when I was at Ikea last weekend.
I like that it has a non-boxy shape and weights only 1 lb. Easy storage for next year! It would even make a creative host/hostess gift.
To be fair, I browsed Target for Advent calendars before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so I can’t promise that their inventory has not been decimated by that crazy Target commercial lady and her friends. I like the style option of this model…
…but I would recommend buying these in the stores, so you can see that the quality of construction is good. Some of the individuals ones I found in the store had drawers that don’t close properly and/or wonky mirror application. Sorry, Target. Gotta keep it honest for my readers!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Looking for something a little more artistically sophisticated in your Advent calendar? You’d think this source would offer lots of pricey options, but all of their advent calendars come in under $20. I love the creative forms they offer, like this one:
As each day passes you open up the calendar page and add another little ornament to the paper tree. This would be great in a younger child’s room. How fun to have your own little tree!
This next calendar is actually pre-filled, but it replaces the traditional chocolates with Christmas stickers:
I like this idea. However, I have a friend who pointed out that the candy sugar rush burns off rather quickly, but she could still be staring down a Christmas sticker next July. Any other parents out there want to weigh in on this?
I also like this calendar, because I love the colors and its design. You open each drawer to remove a Nativity scene character, which helps you build a Nativity scene by Christmas Day. You also turn the drawer around to slowly create a tree full of graceful angels:
It has nice sized drawers, which could be used for other little treats in future years. Aren’t those fun? You can see all of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s advent calendars in their online shop, linked right here.
This last source is a company I use a lot with my design clients because they have great quality of construction. If you are a fan of them, too, you might have already spotted some of their furnishing in some of my past client mood boards, which you can browse right here.
I love this advent calendar:
I like the almost-doll-house feel of it. This is another version of the drawer calendar openings. I like that you could decorate the house more with ribbons and garland to your own tastes. I like the size and that it can sit almost anywhere in a home.
Do you use an Advent calendar in your home during the holidays? Have you been looking for one recently? What is the best thing you ever got from an Advent calendar? Who else is still craving chocolate? Leave a comment and share some holiday cheer!